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Michael Jackson Portrait Fails to Attract Bidders

May 7, 2010, 3:45 am GMT

A rare picture, which features the late King of Pop sitting in a fantastical room holding a book and wearing a frilled velvet jacket, fails to sell.

Michael Jackson

The only portrait Michael Jackson ever sat for will remain with its owner - after an online auction of the work failed to attract any bidders. Australian painter/sculptor Brett-Livingstone Strong persuaded the "Thriller" hitmaker to pose for him in 1990 - Jackson's only ever sitting for an artist. The picture depicts Jackson sat in a fantastical room holding a book and wearing a frilled velvet jacket.

Originally sold to Japanese businessman Hiromichi Saeki for a $2.1 million the same year, it was then acquired by toy inventor Marty Abrams in 1992 as payment for a debt owed by Saeki. Abrams claimed the portrait was valued at $5.3 million in 2000, and expected an even higher closing price following the interest in Jackson memorabilia since his death last June 2009.

But potential bidders on the eBay.com auction seem to have been put off by the $2.75 million starting price - the piece did not attract a single bid by the end of its sale last month. Auction organizer Marc Samson has not given up hope of finding a buyer for the eccentric portrait. He says, "I have two parties considering it, so perhaps I will have a buyer soon."

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